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San Jacinto Aerial

San Jacinto Peak - Aerial View

Here's a still-snowy San Gorgonio Mountain photobombing a mostly-dry San Jacinto Peak, as seen Wednesday on the way from LAX to Phoenix, Arizona. This shot really gives a good (more)

Throop Peak – North Gully

Matthew Testa skiing Throop Peak's north gully

Believe it or not this is the first time I've skied Throop Peak from its 9142' summit; I've come close previously, but always ascended/descended the big northwest face over Lily (more)

Sunday at Mount Baldy

Sunday at Mount Baldy

I am a spring skier at heart; give me t-shirts and slush over winter's cold brittle snowpacks anytime. And how about adding in a crew of good friends and family plus some SoCal (more)

The Baldy Crest

Mount Baldy's north face from Throop Peak

Here's the Baldy skyline from just off the summit of Throop Peak yesterday. There is still a heck of a lot of good snow on the north and west faces—if you're willing to (more)

Skiing Rosie’s Alley

Al Preston Skiing Rosie's Alley

On various adventures past I vaguely recall noticing a possibly-skiable line through Baldy Bowl's east buttress—but somehow I never got around to actually trying to ski (more)

A Very Wet Waterman

Skiing in a blizzard at Waterman Ski Lifts

With weekend snow levels forecast to dip as low as 4000', it was possible to believe there'd be cold April powder turns in the mountains this weekend. The reality was quite a (more)

Humphreys Cirque

Humphreys Cirque

While the west side of the San Francisco Peaks is inarguably beautiful, I tend to think of it as the boring part of the mountain. The west side includes the Arizona Snowbowl, and (more)

Allison Clay

Allison Clay

Dave Braun and I took a spring break trip to Flagstaff, Arizona this past week to ski some of the big lines on my hometown mountain, the San Francisco Peaks. Initially I was (more)

Skiing Kratka Ridge

Skiing SoCal's lost ski area, Kratka Ridge

Yesterday I took my daughter to ski Kratka Ridge, one of Southern California's "lost" ski areas. It was her first official day backcountry skiing in Southern California. I do (more)

Wright Mountain via Heath Canyon

Matt Dixon contemplates the crux on Southern California's Wright Mountain

Here's Matt D earning his handle in Wright Mountain's Heath Canyon. 8505' Wright Mountain is the highest point along Blue Ridge, which we traversed yesterday from Mountain High (more)

Waterman Update

snow-buried hut at Mount Waterman, CA

As far as I can tell this past storm put rain on the Waterman Crest and not much else, but there is still a great deal of snow up there from the big February storm. Maybe an (more)

The Other Williamson

The Other Williamson

SoCal mountain road access continues to evolve in an ever-more discouraging direction, so I've been scanning my Harrison maps to look for alternate access points. That led me (more)

Islip’s South Face

Islip's South Face

In the aftermath of the giant February 2023 storm, which put snow at unusually low elevations throughout the San Gabriels, I urgently wanted to ski Islip's south face before it (more)

Highway 2 Update

Highway 2 buried in Snow

Not Fast is my guess as to when the 2 will open. Here's a look at the Angeles Crest Highway about a mile and a half east of Islip Saddle, just absolutely buried in snow. Dave (more)

Islip From Crystal Lake

Dave Braun ascending Mount Islip from Windy Gap

I assume you don't need me to tell you, but there is a lot of snow out there right now. Yesterday Dave Braun and I drove up to Crystal Lake for a low-expectations scouting (more)

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About SierraDescents

When there is snow, SierraDescents is Andy Lewicky's California backcountry skiing and mountaineering website. Without snow, sierradescents becomes an ill-tempered hiking and climbing blog.

Pray for snow.